Goodall ‘Evening’ in Kenya Recounts Past, Offers Hope
Chimpanzee expert Dr. Jane Goodall recounted some of her earliest experiences as a researcher in Tanzania and offered words of encouragement to future generations at “An Evening with Jane Goodall,”an intimate dinner event staged by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) on 3 August in Nairobi.
Dr. Goodall is a GRASP Ambassador, a Dame of the British Empire and a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Her presentation was only the second in Kenya the last decade, and capped a whirlwind 48 hours in Nairobi that included media interviews, meetings and a presentation at Brookhouse International School in Langata.
“An Evening with Jane Goodall” was organized in collaboration the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) – Kenya and KGI’s Roots & Shoots.
The event – which included the GRASP photo exhibition, “Their Fate is Ours: The Humanity of Great Apes” – quickly sold out. The evening featured a live interview on-stage between Dr. Goodall and former BBC reporter Kevin Mwachiro, and touched on many aspects of her 50-year career.
Guests also submitted written questions to Dr. Goodall in advance, which Mwachiro weaved into the interview.
“Gombe is a spiritual home, in a way,” Dr. Goodall said, referring to the national park where she began working in the 1960s. “But it has been encroached upon. It’s not the same as it was… But it’s still a place where I can go to draw strength and inspiration.”
Dr. Goodall also spoke of the important role her mother played in her career, urging never to lose faith. “She taught me to believe in myself,” Dr. Goodall said. “She told me that if wanted something badly enough and believed in myself, I could do anything. That was such an important lesson.”
Dr. Goodall is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which is charter member of GRASP.